Politics

Politics
3:57 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Rand Paul: Court Oversight in Drone Attacks Needed

Credit Public Domain

Courts should decide whether the U.S. should use drone attacks on American citizens who are abroad and accused of committing crimes against the nation, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said.

Paul told Kentucky Public Radio on Monday that he would prefer a judge or jury make those decisions, as they do with crimes committed inside the U.S.

"We still, even for bad people, give them a trial and a jury to make sure we get the guilty people and not kill an innocent person," he said.

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Politics
2:22 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Hemp Bill Sails Through Kentucky Senate Agriculture Committee

James Comer
Credit File photo

FRANKFORT — After testimony from a bevy of high-level supporters, the state Senate agriculture committee unanimously approved Monday a bill that would establish oversight for Kentucky  industrial hemp farmer if hemp were made legal federally.

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Politics
8:30 am
Mon February 11, 2013

State Lawmaker: City Officials Shouldn't Use Taxpayer Dollars in Ethics Defense

State Rep. Larry Clark, D-Louisville
Credit keeplarryclark.com

State Representative Larry Clark, D-Louisville, has introduced a bill that would require city officials charged with an ethics violation to pay for their own attorneys.

Under the current system, Metro officials and employees can request a lawyer paid for by the city to defend them against an ethics charge. The new legislation would prohibit taxpayer dollars from being used in those cases.

Clark says citizens should not be funding the defense of ethics charges against local officials accused of violating the public trust.

"First and foremost, I don’t think it’s fair for the taxpayers to have to pay for a lawyer for those of us in public service. I think we should be held at a higher standard," he says.

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Politics
10:45 am
Sun February 10, 2013

Karl Rove Promises More Ashley Judd Attack Ads

Republican strategist Karl Rove is promising more attack ads targeting actress Ashley Judd.

Judd is flirting with a bid against Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who is up for re-election in 2014.

In a brutal online ad, American Crossroad tagged the actress-activist as an out-of-touch Hollywood liberal, and criticized her for living in Tennessee. Rove is the super PAC's founder, and he says there's plenty more to come.

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Politics
6:00 am
Sun February 10, 2013

Stumbo, Stivers Oppose Local Option Sales Tax; Fischer Undeterred

Greg Fischer
Credit Louisville Metro Government

Kentucky's top two legislative leaders are throwing cold water on a proposal to create a local option sales tax for city and county governments.

The plan would give local voters the ability to decide whether to fund special projects through a temporary increase to the state sales tax. It would typically be used for infrastructure, supporters say, but could also be applied to long-term investments.

Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo, however, says cities already have alternatives for such projects.

"There's a lot of options that they have, that they haven't used for local option taxes if they want to utilize them. So I don't necessarily favor it," he says.

The measure is heavily supported by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, both Democrats. 

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Politics
10:30 pm
Sat February 9, 2013

Noise and Notes: Kentucky State President Mary Evans Sias on Historically Black Colleges' Challenges

Dr. Mary Evans Sias

Kentucky State University President Mary Evans Sias is warning the 127-year-old institution faces serious challenges, and will have to change to survive.

Located in the bosom of the commonwealth’s capital, K-State is a historically black college with a proud tradition that counts the late Urban League President Whitney Young among its alumni.

As of late K-State has seen a significant drop in enrollment as it has weathered state budget cuts and the national recession.

As Sias writes:

As we expected, in May of 2012, our graduation rate hit a low of 14 percent, down substantially from 2003. That enrollment decline resulted in a $4.8 million loss of revenue for the year.

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Politics
3:36 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Kentucky Senate Passes Pair of Abortion Bills

Credit File photo

 

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Doctors would be required to make ultrasound images available to women seeking abortions under legislation passed by the Senate on Friday.

The Senate also passed a separate measure that would require women get face-to-face consultations with medical professionals before undergoing abortions.

Both measures passed the Republican-controlled Senate 31-4.

Similar proposals have repeatedly cleared the Senate in recent years only to die in the Democratic-controlled House. And the prognosis is no better this year.

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Politics
11:18 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Special Taxing Districts Reform Sails Through Kentucky State House

Credit File photo

A bill reforming how the state's special districts are categorized and making them more transparent easily passed the state House this morning, 96-1.

State Rep. Lynn Belcher, a Republican from Crittenden County, was the lone "no" vote. 

Many local library boards, sewer districts and fire districts are considered special taxing districts separate from other types of government.

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Politics
6:20 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

State Senate Passes Pension Reform Recommendations

Credit File photo

The Kentucky state Senate passed a bill Thursday that would reform the majority of the state's pension system, 33-5. 

Senate Bill 2 reflects the recommendations of the legislative task force assigned to study possible solutions to the problem over the summer.

Cost of living adjustments would be suspended under the bill. The bill would also create a hybrid plan similar to a 401K whose rate of return would be guaranteed by the state.

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Politics
4:09 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Greg Stumbo Files Bill Aimed at Speeding Up Medicaid's Late Payment Process

Greg Stumbo
Credit Kentucky Legislative Commission

House Speaker Greg Stumbo has filed a bill to move complaints about late payments in Kentucky's Medicaid system from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to the Department of Insurance.

Health care providers—such as hospitals and doctor's offices— have complained about severely late payments since the managed care system started. Currently, the cabinet deals those issues that arise when one of the state's Medicaid operating companies delays payment to a health provider.

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